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Bladensburg Union Burial Association records

Creator:
Bladensburg Union Burial Association  Search this
Names:
Plummer, Henry Vinton, 1844-1905  Search this
Plummer, Nellie Arnold, 1860-ca. 1920  Search this
Extent:
3.64 Linear feet (4 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Membership lists
Papers
Receipts (financial records)
Place:
Bladensburg (Md.)
Date:
1874–1978
bulk 1920-1970
Summary:
The collection, which dates from 1874 to 1978 and measures 3.64 linear feet, documents the history of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association. The records include the Association's constitution, by-laws, treasurer reports, receipts, and correspondence.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection is arranged into four main categories: Administration, Finances, Correspondence and Writings. Material in each folder is arranged in chronological order by date.

Series Description

1. Administration: The series contains constitution amendments, by-laws, applications, forms, roll calls, minutes and business related to the operation of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association.

2. Finances: The series contains materials related to funding the organization, to include treasurer reports, financial notebooks and expense receipts, which document membership dues and taxes.

3. Correspondence: The series consists primarily of correspondence generated by members of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association.

4. Writings: The series contains writings by Union members to include: the history of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association, bible verses, poetry and writings which are miscellaneous in nature.
Biography of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association:
In 1870 undertaker Francis Gasch refused to conduct a burial because the family of the decease could not afford to pay the exorbitant cost of the funeral. This plight was quite common for newly freed African Americans. Recognizing the need for action Henry Vinton Plummer intervened on the behalf of the family and assumed the financial responsibility. Thereafter, in an effort to empower members of his race to establish their own resources he called a meeting where he proposed a society which the members in attendance named the Bladensburg Burying Association. Funds were raised by collecting membership dues which ensured its members a proper funeral.

The Bladensburg Union Burial Association is a fine example of black enterprise during the period of reconstruction. By utilizing self help methods to propel themselves out of difficult and turbulent time's beneficent societies were able to take care of their own by providing financial resources to its members who paid dues. Through self empowerment the Bladensburg Union Burial Association would go on to respond to its members needs through active community involvement for many years to come by providing for the needs of formerly enslaved, newly freed and future generations.
Biography of Henry Vinton Plummer:
The Bladensburg Union Burial Association's founder, Mr. Henry Vinton Plummer was a man of integrity and remarkable character. He was the eldest son of Adam Francis Plummer and Emily Saunders who were enslaved in Maryland on separate plantations for twenty two years. Plummer was one of eighteen children born from this union into slavery on July 31, 1844 on Sarah Ogle Hilleary's Three Sisters Plantation in Lanham, Maryland. He escaped slavery in 1862 by running away to the District of Columbia to join the Union Navy during the Civil War, where he served as chaplain for the Union forces before being honorably discharged in 1865. After being honorably discharged Plummer enrolled in Wayland Seminary, which provided education and training for Freedmen to enter into the Baptist ministry. Upon the completion of his theological studies he became the Pastor of the St. Paul Baptist Church in Bladensburg, Maryland, which was founded by his sister Sarah Miranda Plummer on October 19, 1866. Plummer married July Lomax of Virginia in 1867 and their marriage produced nine children. In 1884, Plummer was appointed as the first black chaplain in the 9th Calvary, which was one of the Buffalo Soldiers units of the Regular Army. Amidst controversy, Plummer was accused of conduct unbecoming an officer and dishonorably discharged from his post in Fort Robinson, Nebraska by a military court in 1894. In 2005, Plummer's descendants successfully petitioned the Army Board for Correction of Military Records to eradicate his dishonorable discharge.
Related Materials:
This collection contains artifacts catalogued in ACM's Object collection.

Plummer, Nellie Arnold. Out of the Depths: or, the Triumph of the Cross, 1997.
Provenance:
The Bladensburg Union Burial Association records were donated to the Anacostia Community Museum on October 14, 2004 by Reverend L. Jerome Fowler.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for unrestricted research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Bladensburg Union Burial Association records are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Topic:
African American churches  Search this
African American clergy  Search this
African American clergy -- History  Search this
Funeral rites and ceremonies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Membership lists
Papers
Receipts (financial records)
Citation:
Bladensburg Union Burial Association records, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Reverend L. Jerome Fowler.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-025
See more items in:
Bladensburg Union Burial Association records
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa7af3efac7-a0db-426e-b166-79975f81a52a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-acma-06-025
Online Media:

Plummer-Arnold Family papers

Creator:
Plummer-Arnold family  Search this
Names:
Plummer-Arnold family  Search this
Plummer, Henry Vinton, 1844-1905  Search this
Extent:
1.44 Linear feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Letters
Certificates
Family papers
Photographic prints
Dvds
Letters (correspondence)
Place:
United States -- Navy -- Chaplain Corps
United States -- Armed Forces -- African Americans
United States -- Army -- Cavalry, 9th
Date:
circa 1880-2005
circa 2005
bulk 1880-1955
Summary:
The collection, spanning the late 19th century to 2005 with the bulk from circa 1880 to circa 1955, measures 1.44 linear feet and documents the daily lives and activities of the Plummer-Arnold family and the military career of Henry Vinton Plummer. The collection consists of 48 color and black-and-white photographs and a framed certificate, letter, and two DVDs regarding the honorable discharge of Henry Vinton Plummer. The photographs are undated.
Scope and Contents:
The Plummer-Arnold family papers span the late 19th century to 2005, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1880 to circa 1955. The collection contains 48 black-and-white and color photographs, one letter, one certificate, and two DVDs. The black-and-white and color photographs, mostly undated, depict the daily lives and activities of descendants of the Plummer and Arnold families. The collection also features a letter, certificate, and DVDs relating to the honorable discharge of U.S. Army chaplain Henry Vinton Plummer (1844-1905). The collection is organized into two series, Series 1: Family photographs and Series 2: Henry Vinton Plummer military service.
Biographical/Historical note:
The Plummer-Arnold family has a long and notable history. Adam Francis Plummer (1819-1905) and Emily Saunders Arnold (1815-1876) were enslaved African Americans who married in 1841. The couple was separated on different Maryland plantations for the first 22 years of their marriage. They had eighteen children, only nine of whom survived to adulthood. Their eldest son, Henry Vinton Plummer (1844-1905), escaped slavery in 1862 to become a Civil War chaplain and founder of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association. His descendents' successful battle to upgrade his 1894 dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Army is documented in this collection.

In 1862, Henry Vinton Plummer escaped from a Maryland plantation to the District of Columbia, where he joined the Union Navy as a chaplain. He was honorably discharged in 1865 and began his studies at Wayland Seminary, which educated freedmen to enter the Baptist ministry. Upon completion of his studies he became the pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in Bladensburg, Maryland, founded by his sister, Sarah Miranda Plummer, on October 19, 1866. Henry Vinton Plummer married Julia Lomax of Virginia in 1867 and their marriage produced nine children.

Henry Vinton Plummer founded the Bladensburg Union Burial Association in 1870, a society that ensured that its African American members would receive a proper funeral by collecting dues and pledges. It was formed in response to a white undertaker's refusal to conduct a funeral because the family of the deceased could not afford to pay. Plummer interceded on behalf of the family and paid their debt. The Bladensburg Union Burial Association remained an active and successful organization into the 20th century.

In 1884, Plummer was appointed as the first black chaplain in the 9th Calvary, one of the Buffalo Soldier units of the Regular Army. Amidst controversy, Plummer was accused of conduct unbecoming an officer and dishonorably discharged from his post in Fort Robinson, Nebraska, by a military court in 1894. In 2005, Plummer's descendants successfully petitioned the Army Board for Correction of Military Records to eradicate his dishonorable discharge. They were issued a certificate from the Army that retroactively grants Plummer the honorable discharge he was denied during his life.
Related Archival Materials note:
These Smithsonian collections and digital exhibits contain related material:

Plummer-Arnold Collection, Permanent Collection, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. The Bladensburg Union Burial Association records, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Reverend L. Jerome Fowler. Plummer Diary Website Project, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution. For a description of the preservation of the diary, see the Smithsonian blog post "A Sense of Place."

These items held by the Smithsonian are related material:

"Out of the Depths or The Triumph of the Cross" by Nellie Arnold Plummer, Gift of the descendants of Adam and Emily Plummer. Plummer Family Diary, Gift of the Descendants of Adam and Emily Plummer. United States flag Of Henry Vinton Plummer, Gift of the descendants of Adam and Emily Plummer.

These items are held outside the Smithsonian:

Interview with Reverend L. Jerome Fowler, PTIP Interview Transcripts, Center for Heritage Resource Studies, Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Images of America: Riverdale Park by Donald Lynch, Tom Alderson, and Melissa Avery, Arcadia Publishing, 2011.
Provenance:
The Plummer-Arnold family papers were donated to the Anacostia Community Museum on October 14, 2004, by Reverend L. Jerome Fowler.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for unrestricted research. Use of the collection requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Rights:
The Plummer-Arnold Family papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Topic:
Fraternal organizations  Search this
African American women  Search this
Portraits -- African American women  Search this
Race discrimination  Search this
African American families  Search this
Family reunions  Search this
Military chaplains  Search this
African American women -- Societies and clubs  Search this
Discrimination in the military  Search this
Military discharge -- United States  Search this
Racism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Letters
Certificates
Family papers
Photographic prints
DVDs
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Citation:
The Plummer-Arnold family papers, undated-2005, bulk circa 1880-1955, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Reverend L. Jerome Fowler.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-038
See more items in:
Plummer-Arnold Family papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa748f43ca7-c5b2-49c3-9c96-9be1e80b672d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-acma-06-038
Online Media:

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